Latex Makes Smoky Fire

Latex Makes Smoky Fire

Portland, Oregon, fire fighters were forced to operate from the outside, in fighting a three-alarm fire in the Western Foam Latex Company, 1024 N. W. Flanders St., Alay 30th last.

Smoke given off by foam rubber so charged the four-story brick building that firemen had to resort to heavy duty streams from ladders, deck pipes and portable monitors, to control the threatening blaze.

Edward Boatright, assistant chief of the Portland Fire Department, said his men operated from rooftops and neighboring buildings because of the heavy volume of smoke. Some smoke and water damage was done to adjoining buildings but fire fighters prevented their involvement by throwing up walls of water.

When firemen arrived, flames were shooting from the roof of the structure and smoke fogged a four-block area. The fire was first noticed by postal employes of the post office annex directly across the street from the latex company. First arriving fire fighters quickly shot in additional alarms, bringing a heavy complement of men and 24 pieces of equipment to the scene.

Chief Edward Grenfell, who commanded operations, said the smoky struggle was one of the worst of the year. Despite the handicaps under which they worked, no firemen were seriously injured. Four were shocked by electricity when they entered the building’s front door and came in contact with a standpipe that had been charged by broken wires.

Cause of the fire has not been determined.

Smoky Portland blaze threatens exposures. Burning foam latex gave Portland fire fighters of 17 companies a short but stiff struggle to contain the threatening blaze. Heavy streams from street, roofs and ladders held fire to minimum loss.
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